Buying a “low-end” printer may not be the best idea to save money

Mathieu Grumiaux

February 8, 2024 at 7:40 a.m.


toner cartridge printer © Shutterstock

Inexpensive printers that can hide many costs ©

While we may think that buying a printer at a low price is synonymous with a good deal, the price of ink cartridges quickly destroys all the savings made, without forgetting the ecological impact of these devices.

Choosing a good printer for your home or professional activity can quickly become a headache. Many models exist on the market, and manufacturers compete with promotions and tricks to lower the price of their models in order to convince as many users as possible. However, several studies show that the few dozen euros saved when purchasing the printer are quickly swallowed up by the price of ink cartridges, consumables offered at often extravagant prices and which can represent a very large budget. during the life of the device.

Printer manufacturers are catching up on the price of cartridges

Cartridge printers are still the best-selling models in supermarkets or at points of sale today. Manufacturers do not hesitate to push prices down, even if it means selling at a loss to offer the most attractive prices possible to consumers.

Enrique Lores, the CEO of HP which remains one of the largest sellers of printers, indicated in an interview with the channel CNBC A few days ago the brand was losing money on equipment. The economic model is based on consumables. In the same way as razors and blades, printer manufacturers rely on the purchase of ink cartridges to cover their costs and make money on each printer sold.

The price of ink and cartridges is regularly criticized. In 2017, the Stop Planned Obsolescence association indicated that the price of ink could reach 2,000 euros per liter in the worst case, as recalled The world. However, alternatives exist to earn money while using the printer.

Printer © © JustA Guy - Unsplash

A very high printing cost for cartridge models © JustA Guy – Unsplash

New, more cost-effective printers for regular users

For several years, manufacturers have been offering new printers with ink tanks, like EPSON with its EcoTank for example. Rather than cartridges, these much larger tanks allow you to space out ink purchases and print more documents. These models are more expensive than classic models, with prices starting around 170 euros for the entry level, while cartridge printers are priced more around 100 euros.

The printing cost per sheet would however be 30 times lower than that made from an ink cartridge, if we are to believe the tests carried out by the magazine What to choose in December 2023. The break-even point would be 1,200 impressions of text in A4 format, at a rate of 25 pages printed each month. If you instead use your printer to take photos, ink tank printers become profitable with six images printed each month.

Be careful though: cartridge printers can remain more economical if your use is very limited. If you only need to print a document every month or two, there’s no need to change your hardware. Ink tank printers are aimed at users with daily or weekly needs.

These studies also relate to official cartridges, offered by manufacturers. There are of course generic models, and cheaper ones, but the print quality is often not as good, especially for photo printing.

What are the best printers? Comparison 2024

What is the best printer for your needs? For personal and daily use, or for professional and more intensive printing, the printer always occupies a special place in our homes. But, to choose the right one, it is better to turn to a model adapted to your needs, with options that you will actually use, and presenting the best balance between performance, cost of ink cartridges and printing quality . Discover our selection of the best printers of the moment below.
Read more

Source : The world

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